Rebuilding a Subaru Engine: A Comprehensive Guide to the Process and Timeline

Subaru engines are known for their reliability and longevity. However, even the most well-maintained engines may eventually require a rebuild. Whether it’s due to aging, wear and tear, or a major breakdown, a rebuild may be necessary to get your Subaru running like new again. But, how long does it take to rebuild a Subaru engine, and what exactly is involved in the process? In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to Subaru engine rebuilds, covering everything from the reasons why someone might need to rebuild their engine to the overall timeline and associated costs.

Reasons for a Subaru Engine Rebuild

There are several reasons why someone might need to rebuild their Subaru engine. Some of the most common reasons include the following:

  • Aging: Over time, even the most well-maintained engines will begin to show signs of wear and tear. Pistons may become worn, seals may dry out, and other parts may begin to degrade. A rebuild can help restore your engine to its original performance.

  • Damage: If your engine has suffered damage from an accident, a breakdown, or another issue, a rebuild may be necessary to get it running properly again.

  • Performance upgrades: Some Subaru owners may choose to rebuild their engine in order to improve its performance. This may involve replacing certain components or adding aftermarket parts to increase horsepower, torque, or overall efficiency.

The Subaru Engine Rebuild Process

The process of rebuilding a Subaru engine can be complex, and it typically involves several steps. While the exact process may vary depending on the extent of the rebuild and the specific model of Subaru, the following steps are typically involved:

  1. Engine Removal: The first step in any engine rebuild is to remove the engine from the vehicle. This may involve disconnecting various hoses, wires, and other components, as well as unbolt the engine from the transmission before lifting it out.

  2. Engine Disassembly: Once the engine is removed, it will need to be disassembled completely, with all parts and components removed. This includes the block, pistons, rods, and various other parts.

  3. Inspection: After disassembly, each part will need to be thoroughly inspected to determine what needs to be replaced. This may include checking for wear and tear, damage, or other issues.

  4. Replacement: Any worn, damaged, or faulty parts will need to be replaced during the rebuild process. This may include things like pistons, connecting rods, bearings, and gaskets.

  5. Reassembly: Once all parts have been inspected and replaced as needed, the engine will be reassembled. This includes putting the various components and parts back together in the correct configuration.

  6. Testing: After reassembly, the engine will need to be tested to ensure that it is running properly. This may involve running the engine to check for any issues, making necessary adjustments to various components and systems to ensure optimal performance.

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Timeline for a Subaru Engine Rebuild

So, how long does it actually take to rebuild a Subaru engine? The timeline for a Subaru engine rebuild can vary depending on a number of factors, including the extent of the damage, availability of replacement parts, and the experience of the mechanic conducting the rebuild. On average, however, a typical Subaru engine rebuild may take anywhere from 3-7 days for a professional mechanic to complete. However, this timeline can be greatly extended if unexpected issues arise during the rebuild process.

Associated Costs

The cost of a Subaru engine rebuild can vary significantly depending on a variety of factors, including the extent of the rebuild, the age and condition of the engine, and the labor costs charged by the mechanic or shop performing the rebuild. On average, a complete Subaru engine rebuild can cost anywhere from $2,500-$4,000 or more depending on the specifics of your situation.

Finding a Reputable Mechanic

When choosing a mechanic to perform your Subaru engine rebuild, it’s important to find someone who is experienced, knowledgeable, and reputable. Make sure to ask for referrals, check online reviews, and ask the mechanic about their qualifications and experience before agreeing to the work. Additionally, make sure to get a detailed estimate upfront to ensure that there are no unexpected costs or surprises during the rebuild process.


Q: How do I know if my Subaru engine needs to be rebuilt?

A: If you experience issues like decreased performance, loud noises, or increased oil consumption, it may be a sign that your engine needs to be rebuilt. A mechanic can help diagnose the issue and determine if a rebuild is necessary.

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Q: Can I rebuild my Subaru engine on my own?

A: Rebuilding a Subaru engine can be an incredibly complex process, and it typically requires a great deal of knowledge and experience to do properly. While it is possible to do it on your own, it’s generally recommended to hire an experienced mechanic to ensure that the job is done correctly.

Q: How much does it cost to rebuild a Subaru engine?

A: The cost of a Subaru engine rebuild can vary depending on a number of factors, but on average, it can cost anywhere from $2,500-$4,000 or more depending on the specifics of your situation. It’s important to get a detailed estimate upfront to avoid any unexpected costs or surprises.


Rebuilding a Subaru engine can be a complex, time-consuming process, but it can also be a great way to restore your vehicle’s performance and extend its lifespan. By understanding the reasons for a rebuild, the process involved, the timeline, and associated costs, Subaru owners can make informed decisions about whether a rebuild is right for their specific situation. If you’re considering a Subaru engine rebuild, make sure to find a reputable mechanic who can guide you through the process and provide the expert service you need to get your car running like new.

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Davis Bellew

As a Subaru owner and enthusiast, Davis has a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of Subaru drivers. He specializes in writing informative and engaging content about Subaru maintenance and repair, and his articles are always well-researched and easy to understand. When he's not writing, he enjoys hiking and photography.

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